all about the spence

^^^ epic smiles from mr. spencer b this morning

It's been a fun week in the Moore household. On Monday, our babysitter decided to text me (yes, text me) and tell me she no longer wanted to work. I'd been working towards part-time hourly care on post anyway, so despite the fact that I was crazy annoyed, I was also relieved I didn't have to fire her. Yesterday, the CYS on post called me during the three hours Spencer was in their care to tell me he wouldn't stop crying and I had to pick him up.

Now, don't get me wrong. I will always put my child's needs above my own. That said, I was crazy frustrated, yet again, that it seemed someone couldn't do their job when all I really want is to do my job(s) and do them well! Needless to say, I went and picked him up, and we had a fun day together. I did not, however, get any work done.

So, there's that.

We're interviewing new sitters because, while Spencer needs to grow accustomed to other people re: part-time childcare, I also relish having him at home, and that's the ideal for me. How is it that this is so difficult?! 

This sweet boy is almost 5 months old, and I just adore him. I love, love, love being able to work from home, but my goodness - it's harder than ever! 

out of doors

The weather in upstate New York is bipolar, I tell you. One second it's a balmy, springy day...the next it's snowing. Yes. snowing. This weekend, thankfully, it was kind of in between the two. It didn't get out of the 50s, but we decided that was a good enough temperature to bundle the baby and take a walk around our little village.

^^^ bear suit from H&M

We loaded Spencer in my little Baby Bjorn and took to the woods, aka Poors Island, which we can access less than a half mile down our road. Right now, the trees are still barren and brown, but the water was rushing, the sky was blue, and we had to get some fresh air. I feel like we've been hibernating all winter!

^^^ this image kills me with cute. I got tired from carrying the bubs, so daddy took over



I get so giddy and excited when I see the little buds forming on our trees because I know that this summer is going to be perfection with our sweet little man. I love daydreaming about him playing in a little kiddie pool in our backyard, us soaking up the rays, taking in the sights of the Thousand Islands and really just enjoying this new little haven of a home. 

I think this whole year will be about finding a proper rhythm as a family of three, but I think that spring - and the ability to get outdoors and really enjoy this beautiful neck of the woods - will help us do so. As an aside, we did get deployment news on Ryan's front. It's part good, part meh. Because of OPSEC, I won't really remark much about it, but I will say that it looks good this year, and a little blah for next year. In terms of living in the moment though, we're golden, and I love it.

Oh yeah - and it's supposed to be in the 70s next weekend. Thank you, New York!



it's finally friday

Holy moly...it's Friday. I swear this week has both flown by and dragged. On the one hand, it's been so fast because we've been in a haze of sleepless nights. Last night though...last night was a Godsend. Sweet little Spencer Bruce slept from 8 until 3, and then again until 7:40. It was almost as good as a full night of sleep! And because of that, I'm participating in my first 5 on Friday. Boom.


one// We've discovered Hyland's Teething Tablets. I was a skeptic. My friends, they work. We popped two of those fast-dissolve suckers into his little mouth, and he got instant relief - and a little nap. It gave us both a little room to breathe, which made this momma's heart soar.

two// Despite the snowy weather here in New York, it looks like real spring weather is on the horizon again! We can't wait to get this little boy outside again because I think it makes him just as cranky as us to be cooped up inside - however nice this house may be!

three// You might remember my immense mom guilt about dividing my attentions and being a work-at-home-mom. It's been a constant battle, friends, because I love my son above all else, but it's financially and mentally good for me to keep my job and my career. I bit the bullet and cued the waterworks today, and I took Spencer to hourly childcare on post. They're wonderful there - sweet and attentive - and I know it will be good for him to meet other babies and play. Like my sweet momma said to me, I'm looking at it like a playdate, rather than daycare, and he's only there a few hours a day. 

four// Spencer had another checkup at the doctor, and it looks like his eczema is under control for now, which is awesome! He's gaining a little less weight right now, but they think it's because he's been uncomfortable. They're still recommending I start introducing solids soon, so we'll see! I'm still loving these sweet mommy-baby moments we have together.


five// Ryan and I are having a much-needed date day tomorrow! It pains me to leave our sweet baby bear, but we're committed to keeping our marriage at the forefront of all things, and so, we're going to spend some quality time together! I'm so excited :)

serenity

^^^ a sad teething baby. bear suit courtesy of h&m

It is so easy in blog land to paint life solely in rose-colored hues. Truly. And I love my son more than anything in the world, so let's pre-empt this post by saying that. I don't think I had a single inkling how very arduous motherhood and parenting could be until Spencer was born. You recover from the sleepless newborn phase, and you relish in the wonders of your first full night of sleep, though you soon discover you'll find it hard to actually stay asleep. 

Then, when you think you've got that all figured out, all of a sudden your baby will throw you a new curveball. In our case, Spencer got pretty severe eczema - to the tune of needing three topical steroids, as well as an oral dose for five days. And on top of that, he got his first cold while visiting my parents, and it was rough.

Now, we seem to have the eczema almost under control, though it will probably be an ongoing battle for about a year according to his pediatrician. Redheads, I tell ya. During our visit to the doctor yesterday though, we discovered that his first tooth has begun to bud. Oh yes, my friends, it's that time. We've gone from once-a-night wakeups to five or more, plus endless meltdowns during the day. He's in pain. I know it. It breaks my heart, and it hurts when nothing I do helps. 

All that said, I've been lacking that center, that calm space...that serenity. I know that this, too, will pass, but my goodness...it makes me question whether I am fit to mother more than one child. I love him more than anything in the world, but oh my gosh...between the mom guilt, the exhaustion and the baby mood swings, I have such a hard time seeing that light at the end of the tunnel.

I've been praying lately for God to grant me the serenity to get through my days and show my son the love and patience he so deserves...but my goodness. It's challenging, my friends. Mamas, any words of wisdom or advice? 

weekending

Honestly, this past weekend was one of the best our little family has had since we moved to New York. The weather was springtime perfection - averaging 65 with clear blue skies and very little wind. And, after slowly finding our stride as a family of three, we took advantage of the great weather and spent some quality time outside, taking an outing to Home Depot, checking out an antique store and doing some yard work. And, we finally started our family walks, though with the rain and wind today, it's doubtful it'll happen today. 

^^^ the face of a man that's over taking pictures


Spencer has been going through a definite bit of sleep regression lately, which we hear (and read) is normal around the 4-6 month range. We average 2-3 wake ups a night again now, but luckily he's been going straight back down after nursing and being changed. And, if he doesn't, we're definitely doing cry it out, which sucks, but it's effective.

All that said, there's been something magical about getting this little man out of the house where we've been cooped up for a long, hard winter and just seeing the wonder in his eyes at all these new sights and sounds. We took a stroll down the street yesterday to see the dam (literally a quarter mile from our house) and it was stunning. There's going to be so much to discover here for us as a little family, and this is just the beginning.


Even though I know we won't be here forever because of Ryan's role in the Army, I can tell that this is going to be the perfect place for us to really start. The seasons, the abundant nature, the open spaces - all of it - they're so amazing, and they're so vastly different from Arizona. I can't wait until New York stops messing with us and actually stays springtime!

10 things on a tuesday (1)

Is it really only Tuesday? Can it please be Friday already? I swear, this week has already been so insanely busy that I may very well lose my mind before it's over! I'm doing my best to get back on track with work, blogging and life, and finding the little "free" moments is hard, but I'm working to make a point of having a better outlook on the balance, or lack thereof. Motherhood and my marriage comes first and foremost, and that is the way it shall remain, no matter what! 

I used to do a little feature somewhat like this on my book blog once upon a time, but I look forward to doing it here, too. It's just a quick, easy way to update family and friends on the goings-on in the Moore household. If there is already a feature like this, please direct me to it, and I'll link instead.

1. It is finally warm in upstate New York. In fact, it was so delightfully warm (think: 74 degrees) yesterday, that we actually took a family walk with the babe after dinner. It was vaguely reminiscent of our walks way back when in Arizona. And now, we can see our house sans snow!


2. The plague is going strong in the Moore household. Spencer looks like he's getting better quickly. Yours truly, however, feels worse than ever. It can only get better from here, right?

3. Spencer is outgrowing his 0-3 month clothes, and it's both amazing and breaking my heart. I packed the majority of them away today, and pulled out his 3-6 month clothes. Plus side? They're so. dang. summery. 

4. We started a pretty epic regimen of meds to combat Spencer's eczema last night. What I thought was cradle cap gradually spread and got worse and worse. Now we rely on this:



5. I finally sent in my first clean-out bag to Thred Up. I can't wait to find out how much I earned so I can go shopping again! For the record, their quality is impeccable, and I'll totally buy any future maternity clothes from there, too.

6. We finally got Spencer's passport docs/application in today. We've been struggling to find the time to do it, but we finally made in today. Oh yeah, and we had to go twice because, yes, I forgot his social security card/number. Also, he legit blew out at the office. So there was that.

7. Starbucks new cold-brew coffee is my latest obsession. I love it so, so, so much.

8. I just ordered Spencer's high chair. I can't believe he's over 4 months old and getting ready to sit at the table with us. It baffles me how fast this child grows! Our pediatrician wanted him started on solids by now, but I want to exclusively breastfeed for 6 months, and so long as he's growing well, I think I'll keep that up.

9. Ryan's coming up on 24-hour ops in May, so Spencer and I are taking a trip to Philadelphia for my little sister's law school graduation. This silly momma is going to do the 5 hour drive solo for a 3-night stay in the city. I'm a weird combo of terrified and excited.

10. I'm taking a sick day tomorrow. That is all.

the plague

Oh, yes. Yes, I'm being dramatic here. Sickness has descended on the Moore household. Ryan, Spencer and I left NY for NH last Saturday, and the intent was for Spencer and I to stay with my parents while Ryan took care of some urgent family matters in Oregon. It turns out that my father and my mother were sick while we were there, and Spencer caught a cold. My friends, there is nothing more sad than a sick baby...especially when it's just a cold and there's nothing you can do for it.


Snuggles on Oma definitely helped though. Anyway, as we left NY yesterday, I started to feel that dreaded tickle in my throat and by 3 PM during our drive home, I'd lost my voice, and I felt like someone was hitting my head with a hammer. You know...just because. Anyway, I'm pretty rough today, but I'm sure I'm on the mend...until Ryan gets sick. Before the sickness took its hold though, and before Ryan left for Oregon, we managed to have some fun family time, and Spencer got to hang out with Opa, Aunt Nikki and Uncle Adam, as well as spend some quality too-cool-for-school time with daddy.




Spencer is getting so darn big. We had to go to the doc today because my momma gut was telling me it was time, and I was right. We got him multiple antibiotics for his eczema, which will hopefully help things along. I'll post about that at a later date...cautionary momma tales and all. But anyway, keep your fingers crossed that if Ryan catches whatever we have that it moves quickly, please.

We want to enjoy this amazing spring weather, my friends, because it is finally over 70 degrees in New York today! 

4 months of spencer bruce

Oma and Spencer

I can barely write this post without tearing up. Spencer Bruce is 4 months old today. That means that Ryan and I have kept this boy alive for 1/3 of a year. (High five, dad!) He is just the sweetest little man who is discovering the world around him and love it more and more every day. He's got the biggest, bluest eye, chunky little legs and a strong desire to be a mobile baby. I keep telling him to slow down!

Weight: Spencer weighed in at 13 lb 7 oz last week. He's in the 22nd percentile, but I take those very lightly. He eats, he poops plenty and he's growing steadily. We were recommended to start solids at 4 months, but I've decided to wait until 6 months or until he tells me he's ready.

Clothes: We're on the last legs of his 0-3 month clothing. He's almost 25 inches long now, so he's been pushing the limits on the onesies for a while. His legs are a little shorter, so he can still wear his 3 month leggings, but even those are a little snug now. We're going shopping this weekend for 3-6 months!

Milestones: Spencer discovered his voice this past week…big time. He's always spoken a good bit, but now he found this noise like a pterodactyl, and he giggles! If you nom on his ribs, he giggles so loudly, and it's pretty much the best noise ever. He's sleeping like a boss in his crib, and sometimes he's up once in the night after 8 hours, but he sleeps through a lot of nights, as well. He started playing in his exersaucer this month, too, and he loves it. He much prefers being upright to lying down these days.


Spencer's Favorites This Month: He loves his bath time more than anything in the world. We've started using Dr. Bronner's 18-in-1 Magic Soap, and it smells so nicely of lavender. He's also a huge fan of his exersaucer and his Sophie la Giraffe teether. He's been gumming anything that will make its way to his mouth.

Mama's Thoughts This Month: I say this every month, but this is my favorite month of Spencer yet! His personality is so defined and so congenial, and I love having our moments together. I've found it more challenging with work lately, but I'm so blessed to be able to work from home. I wouldn't trade any of this for the world. Love, love, love my little man!

so fresh and so clean (clean)

You guys might remember that I mentioned way back when (like a month ago) that I was getting ready to make some changes on the blog. Well, I'm super happy to say that they're complete! You'll see that my little corner of the blogosphere has had a little facelift, and it now has its very own custom domain, which I'm pretty darn pleased about.

I had the great pleasure of working with the lovely Elizabeth from Elizabeth Loves Design, and she created the perfect new look for Loving Life Moore. I asked for fresh, clean, and bright, and she did all that and more. Plus, military bloggers, she offers a special discount just for us! Awesome, right?! 

So what does that mean for me and this blog?

Well, hopefully it means that I'll be blogging more often because I'll be a little more proud of this space! Ryan, Spencer and I are off to New Hampshire today, and I'm hoping spending a little time with family will afford me the possibility to blog a bit more. There's a lot more to this situation, but Ryan needs to head to Oregon to take care of some family matters next week, and Spencer and I will remain with his Oma and Opa through the 11th. 

Needless to see, you're about to see a boatload of Easter baby pics coming soon. You've been warned :)

work at home mom

I swear I struggle with this on a daily basis. Ryan and I are blessed to be a two-income household. I have an amazing job for World Travel Holdings that affords me the opportunity to keep working from home - wherever that may be. Living in a life owned by the Army, this is an incomparable opportunity, and I'm never, ever ungrateful for that. Since having Spencer though, working from home has been hard.

Frankly, I didn't think it would be that hard. My job as a writer is usually pretty flexible. And, when Spencer was first born, it wasn't that hard. He slept a lot, didn't need to be entertained, and it was pretty simple to put him down and get some work done. 


These days, however, he's much more active. He plays in his exersaucer, he barely wants to lie on his playmat, and he prefers to stand (while being held) above anything else. This, however, leaves little time for actually getting work done. Our babysitter is with us 4 hours a day now, but even with that, I struggle. And, to be honest, I really struggle with mom guilt, too.

I know that I'm doing the best thing for our family by keeping my job, and I really do love my job. It's been amazing being able to continue working full time. That said, I feel so immensely guilty much of the time for having to turn on a screen and turn away from my son in favor of a device. That might sound silly, but I can tell that he recognizes me now, and I know that whether he knows it or not...I'm leaving the room or checking out.

Mom guilt is insane, people. Insane. 

It causes me to question myself pretty much all the time. Is he sleeping enough? Is he pooping enough? Does he feel stimulated/loved/warm/happy enough? In reality, yes, he probably does on all accounts. In my head though, I'm abandoning my son in favor of a virtual stranger when I need to dedicate myself to my work.

Fellow working mommas...does this ever get to you, too?